Standing ovations at the Matrix Theatre greeted the actors of Lucy Deutsch's Holocaust life story, No Time To Weep. The moving drama, told in song, and set in Hungary of 1944, tells the story of young Lucy, snatched from her home and shipped off to Auschwitz camp, where she is thrown apart from her parents and siblings. Having to survive only by her wits and the help of her fellow inmates, she comes out of the camps a changed young woman realizing that she can no longer play with her friends as she once had and more determined to succeed at the goals of her life and show Hitler that he could not win with her.
At first, the idea of having a Holocaust story told in song seemed a bit odd, but the acting and the words of the song overcame any reservations I might have held.
The lyrics, written by Lucy, herself, and Deedee O'Malley and the music composed by Deedee O'Malley and Ivor Pyres, and under the tutelage of the associate producer, Canter Estherleon Schwartz, herself a Holocaust child, fit the story perfectly that was directed by Ivor Pyres.
The heroine, young Lucy ages 14-28 (Caitlin Gallogly) was a fabulous singer and actress, but definitely assisted in her work by singer/actors Christopher Callen (Lucy 65), Sarah Ann Vail (Mary), Heidi James (Ruchy), Patricia Canale (Figia), Cat Hardy (Frida), Edward Gusts (Jacob), Vince LaSalvia (Mikey), Stephen Beitler (Shapsy), Jordan White (Olga), Daniella Cartun (German woman), Luke Edward (German officer), Lynde Houck (Shary), Garen Petrossian (Moshe), David Baer (German soldier), Flo Lawrence (Kapo), Hilary Prentice (Royja), Jennie Floyd (Sury), and Jerome St. Jerome (Shapsy's Father).
Costuming was done by Daniella Cartun while Derek Reymer did the music direction. Stage management was excellently done by Emi Avagdo while Kedar Lawrence did the lighting.
At the show, the company introduced a new mandelbroit (cookie) by Papa Ben's Kitchen. The proceeds from the sales of these sweets went to the Zachor Holocaust Foundation working for remembrance of the six million.
The theatre was honored by the presence of the real Lucy Deutsch, a prominent manufacturing artist in her own right, who has written several other books and scripts. Having been through the pain and suffering of Auschwitz, the future holds no surprises for her.
The story is heart wrenching, but well told. Despite it being about one of our darkest hours, it's also an inspiration for survival. On a scale of 10, I'd give it a 9.5. Bring your hankies!
On April 22, Yom Hashaot, the Day of Rememberance (for the six million) there will be a special ceremony and performance.
The play runs 8 pm Thurs through Sat and 2 pm on Sundays, April 14th - June 3rd. Tickets run $30 with discounts for seniors and students. (Promo code 007) Parking is always difficult around the theatre so allow time for that. Call 323 960 7780 or www.plays411.com/notime to reserve seats.